Monthly Archives: June 2014

Coventry’s average ESA appeal waiting times remain above the national average

Recent figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that the average length of time for the Tribunals Service to administer an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) appeal in Coventry was 29 weeks between April 2013 and March 2014 (the latest period for which figures are available). This is well above the national average in England for the same period, which stood at 23 weeks, and above the West Midlands regional average of 27 weeks.

The Tory-led Government had previously provided assurances that they would implement a number of measures to ensure that the average appeal waiting time in Coventry reached parity with the national average. However, in spite of the actions taken by the Government to reduce waiting times, it continues to takes an additional 6 weeks on average for the disposal of a Coventry appeal when compared with the national average in England.

The average ESA appeal waiting times in Coventry have now been persistently higher than the regional and national averages for the duration of this Government’s time in office.

The Ministry of Justice statistics also revealed that the proportion of ESA appeals decided in favour of the appellant in Coventry in 2013/14 (the latest period for which figures are available) stood at 48%. These figures clearly show that had the original decision to disallow a claimant’s ESA been made correctly in the first place, the number of appeals would have been reduced by half over the period. This would have freed up significant capacity in the courts and ensured that the remaining appeals were heard in a timelier manner.

Leave a comment

Filed under Coventry News

Bob holds the Home Secretary to account over passport delays

In the House of Commons yesterday, the Home Secretary responded to an Urgent Question on the processing delays at HM Passport Office. Bob questioned the Home Secretary’s response in dealing with the delays experienced by thousands of people who are waiting for their new passports. This is the Home Secretary’s response:

Mr Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East) (Lab): The Home Secretary is now announcing a series of measures; the problem has been ongoing and apparent not for a couple of weeks, but for months. Members of Parliament—myself and everyone else—have been inundated by constituents in panic and distress. Why has it taken so long for this problem to be recognised and for measures to be taken to address this issue?

Mrs May: The increase in demand was recognised earlier this year. HM Passport Office put steps in place to deal with that increased demand. The increased demand continued and, as a result, further steps were put in place. Those steps included increasing the number of staff available to deal with the applications, increasing the number of staff on the telephone helpline, extending the hours of operation of HM Passport Office and working with couriers to ensure that printed passports were delivered within a very short space of time once they were issued. Over time, as the demand has increased, steps have been taken. It is clear that further steps need to be taken, and they are being taken. (Hansard, 12 June 2014)

Leave a comment

Filed under Coventry News